Bivol’s Manager Confident That WBC Won’t Hinder Beterbiev Fight

December 27, 2023
4 months
Bivol's Manager Confident That WBC Won't Hinder Beterbiev Fight

Dmitry Bivol’s manager, Vadim Kornilov, does not expect the WBC to get in the way of a potential undisputed fight with Artur Beterbiev.

After a year out, Bivol returned to the ring with a comprehensive victory over Lyndon Arthur. The WBA light heavyweight champion dominated the Brit but fell short of getting a stoppage. After the fight, the attention turned towards Bivol’s ambitions of becoming undisputed. Beterbiev faces Callum Smith on January 13, 2024, with the winner expected to face Bivol for all the belts.

The major obstacle preventing the fight has been the WBC’s ban on Russian athletes from fighting for their belts due to the war in Ukraine. Beterbiev is also Russian, even though he lives in Canada, while Bivol resides in California. Sulaiman explained that Beterbiev has been in Canada for over ten years, which is why the two situations were different. But he did leave the door open for Bivol to appeal. This is a position he made clear on numerous occasions.

WBC On Bivol’s Future

“We have explained consistently several times that Bivol has to contact the WBC and put his case forward, explaining why the WBC should not consider him Russian. Because we do not allow any boxing in Russia or Belarus, we don’t rank any boxers from Russia or Belarus and we don’t [give] any support [to] any activity of a WBC fight involving those two countries.

“He has never contacted the WBC for months. It’s very simple. If he believes he’s being mistreated and that we should have a different status [he should have reached out to us]—I’ve said it many times,” Sulaiman said

Now, the situation could be very different. The rise of Saudi Arabia in boxing has opened the doors for making the most significant fights happen. Bivol confirmed his desire to fight in Saudi was due to their insistence on making the undisputed fight.

Talks have been held in that regard, while Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk got made after months of issues with negotiations. The same is expected with Bivol-Beterbiev, given what is at stake. Both fighters are undefeated, and Bivol has a 100 percent knockout rate in his 19 wins. Kornilov does not expect the WBC to hinder such a fight.

Bivol’s Manager

“The fight with Beterbiev is possible in March or April of next year. But he still has a fight with Smith in January. I don’t think there will be any obstacles from the WBC. And I don’t think there will be any [obstacles] with anyone else. The sanctioning bodies will want to take part in a fight of this magnitude.” There is little on our part that can stop this fight. In the case of Beterbiev, everything depends on the fight against Smith and on his agreement,” Kornilov stated

2024 is a big time for boxing. The success of the ‘Day of Reckoning’ card has shown a massive appetite to see the biggest names face each other. If another undisputed fight is put on after Fury-Usyk, there will be more calls to make further fights. With the Saudis not being short of funds, network issues are no longer getting in the way. That can only benefit the boxing fanbase moving forward.

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